Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has made no secret of his annoyance with the man he refers to a “hacker,” calling Assange “a stone in his shoe” as Ecuador seeks to restructure itself as a trusted ally of the United States.
by Elliott Gabriel
Part 3 - Seeking favor with the “Empire”
President Moreno has made no secret of his annoyance with the man he calls a “hacker,” calling Assange “a stone in his shoe” as Ecuador seeks to restructure itself as a trusted ally of the United States. Moreno’s overtures to Washington follow a 10-year policy toward the U.S. under the former administration of leftist economist Correa, who sought to undo the neoliberalism and meddling imposed on the country through a progressive movement dubbed the “Citizens’ Revolution.”
Since coming to power last May, Moreno has sought to undo his former leader’s legacy in a frenzied process that detractors point to as proof of his treacherous “Judas” nature. This has included jailing deposed Vice President Jorge Glas, a close Correa confidant, on corruption grounds; sacking the cabinet appointed following his election; holding a referendum for the purpose of preventing Correa from seeking reelection; and imposing austerity measures on the state, including the dissolution or merger of government ministries.
“One year ago in Ecuador, the Citizens’ Revolution won [the elections] thanks to 10 years of our extraordinary successes, but at the helm of the country there is now a traitor who applies the program of the Right and destroys all of our social achievements,” Correa told Italian newspaper l’AntiDiplomatico.
The “Judas Traidor” characterization was confirmed in the eyes of Correistas when Ecuador inked a new security cooperation agreement with the U.S. last month allowing a U.S. military team to renew “anti-drug and organized-crime” operations in the country following the mission’s expulsion in 2014 for allegedly conspiring against the Correa administration.
Much of the Latin American left, including Correa’s stalwarts, see the sacrifice of Assange as a betrayal of the anti-imperialist and anti-colonial legacy of the continent’s progressive movements. Supporters of Moreno, however, see Assange as an obstacle to developing Ecuador’s relations with potential partners in Europe and North America.
Commenting in the newspaper El Telegrafo, Father Pedro Pierre Riouffrait noted: “It is striking that a journalist would be accused of interference when his job is to inform. Rather, he should remain protected and should be assisted in regaining his freedom. [Assange] is one of those figures of world stature who is formed to live, suffer, face accusations and slander for defending one of humanity’s greatest causes: informing us of what exactly happens in our world when people, nations and freedoms are destroyed.”